Fans only have to wait a few more days for the 2022 Formula 1 season to start, as drivers and franchises make their final preparations for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The race weekend begins on Friday 18 March with the inaugural race of the 2022 season taking place on Sunday 20 March 2022.
The drivers will face not only new off track regulations, but will tackle the new regulations on the circuit as well.
Pre-season testing revealed that, much to everyone’s surprise, Mercedes were not the fastest and would need to work hard over this week to bring themselves up to a Championship-competing level.
Ferrari, however were looking solid in pace with Red Bull and McLaren not too far behind.
With only four days to go until the new season kicks off, let’s take a look at who will be competing for each team.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas: Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Mercedes have won every constructor’s Championship since 2014. They are the most successful team in Formula 1 today and have also won the Drivers’ Championship a total of nine times since 1954.
The team led by Toto Wolff is ranked second in Formula One history.
Hamilton is bidding to become the most successful Formula 1 driver ever. He currently has seven World Championship titles and had hoped to secure his eighth in 2021 before Max Verstappen took dramatic the final victory.
He has been with Mercedes since 2013 and won six championships with them.
This will be the Briton’s first season with Mercedes. He previously raced with Williams and has been part of Mercedes Young Driver Programme.
He won the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in 2014, the GP3 Series in 2017 and won the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2018.
Russell’s first podium came in 2021 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez
Christian Horner has led Red Bull since 2005 and has taken them to nine world titles: Four World Constructors Championships and five World Drivers’ Championships. Their most recent Constructors Championship was in 2013.
Dutchman Verstappen won his first ever World Championship title in 2021 with Red Bull. He has been with Red Bull since 2016. He was the youngest driver ever to start a Grand Prix, and the first Dutch driver to win a Formula One race when he won the 2016 Spanish GP.
He has since gone on to win 20 races.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez
The Mexican Wunderkind joined Red Bull in 2021 and has won two Formula 1 Grand Prix: 2020 Sakhir GP and 2021 Azerbaijan GP.
He previously raced with Sauber, McLaren and Force India (later Racing Point and now Aston Martin).
Scuderia Ferrari: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Ferrari - led by Mattia Binotto - is the oldest and most successful Formula 1 team in history. They have a record total of 16 Constructors’ Championships (the last of which was won in 2008) and a record of 15 Drivers’ Championships. Kimi Raikkonen won their last championship in 2007.
Michael Schumacher is the team’s most successful driver: he won five consecutive drivers’ titles and 72 GPs for his team.
The Monegasque driver has been with Ferrari since 2019 and has won two Grand Prix with them. The first came just the day after his friend and F2 driver Anthoine Hubert suffered a fatal crash.
In 2019, he won the Pole Trophy becoming the youngest driver ever and first non-Mercedes driver to win the award.
This will be the Spaniard’s second season with Ferrari. Sainz started in F1 with Toro Rosso before moving to McLaren. He earned his maiden F1 podium at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix when he came in third.
His best finish was at the 2021 Monaco GP when he came in second.
McLaren Racing: Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren, led by Zak Brown, is the sport’s second oldest active team and the second most successful team after Ferrari. They have won eight Constructors Championships (the last coming in 1998) and 12 Driver’s Championship, the last being Lewis Hamilton in 2008.
Ricciardo replaced Sainz at McLaren in 2021. He has previously raced with Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault.
He has eight wins in his career. His last win came at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix when McLaren won the only 1-2 finish of the entire 2021 season.
The British youngster first joined McLaren in 2019 and has secured five podiums with the team. He has long been a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme and won the FIA F3 Championship in 2017 before moving up to F1.
Norris recently signed a contract extension which will see him stay at McLaren until at least 2025.
BWT Alpine: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
Alpine was formerly Renault Racing and made its debut at the start of the 2021 season. Otmar Szafnauer will lead the team from 2022 having previously been the Team Principal of Force India (later Aston Martin).
Alonso is a two-time World Champion, winning the title in 2005 and 2006. He last won a race at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and briefly retired from the sport in 2019, coming back only two years later. He has previously raced with Renault, McLaren and Ferrari.
At the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, Alonso scored his first podium in seven years.
The French driver made his F1 debut with Manor Racing in 2016 before moving to Force India in 2017.
He was then replaced by Lance Stroll in 2019, the year he became Mercedes reserve driver before joining Renault in 2020.
He won his first and only F1 race at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
Previously Toro Rosso, AlphaTauri was formed in 2020 although their franchise has been in the sport since 1985.
Gasly first joined Toro Rosso in 2014 before having a brief dalliance with the Father team, Red Bull in 2019.
Gasly struggled to get to grips with the car and was swapped back to Toro Rosso while Alex Albon took the seat at Red Bull.
He has had one career win, which came in 2020 at the Italian Grand Prix.
Tsunoda joined AlphaTauri in 2021 after coming third in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship.
His best finish in F1 came at the Hungarian GP when he went from starting 16th to finishing sixth, after Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification.
Aston Martin: Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
Formerly Racing Point, Aston Martin returned to the F1 track in 2021 using Mercedes power units. Lawrence Stroll is the team’s chairman while Mike Krack has come in as the new Team Principal for 2022.
The team first joined F1 in 1959 for one season and returned last year.
Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel joined Aston Martin in 2021 after racing for Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari.
He won consecutive championships with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013 before moving to the Italian side in 2015.
After a string of poor results, and Ferrari’s lowest ever constructors finish, Vettel moved to Aston Martin.
Stroll previously raced for Williams in 2017 but moved to Racing Point in 2019 after his father, along with a consortium of investors, bought the team. Stroll has scored three podiums in his career, with the latest coming in 2020 at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou
Alfa Romeo won the first two Drivers’ Championships in 1950 and 1951 but withdrew from the sport just after. It was not until 2018 that it officially returned as title sponsors for Sauber.
In 2019, Sauber was officially renamed and the oldest winner of the sport returned once more.
Bottas first joined F1 when he raced for Williams in 2013. He later joined Mercedes as Hamilton’s teammate in 2017 after Nico Rosberg announced his surprise retirement and won 10 races with the side.
His last race win came at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix
Zhou will be the first ever Chinese driver to join Formula 1 and will start his rookie year this weekend.
He scored five wins and 20 podiums in his FIA Formula 2 career, coming third in 2021.
Williams: Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi
Williams was first founded by former team owner Frank Williams and has secured nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships in its history.
The team’s most successful period came in the ‘80s and ‘90s but has since seen its success decline.
Jost Capito took over as Team Principal in 2020 from Clare Williams (Frank’s daughter).
Thai driver Alex Albon first joined F1 in 2019 when he signed with Toro Rosso. After delivering great success, he was then promoted to Red Bull later that season but could not maintain his early fine form.
He was demoted to reserve driver in 2021 and still has a link with Red Bull while he remains at Williams.
Latifi is a Canadian-Iranian driver who has raced for Williams since 2020. He previously came second in the F2 Championship in 2019 and is yet to score a podium in F1.
He has been test driver for Renault and Force India as well as Williams before securing his official seat in 2020.
Haas-Ferrari: Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen
Haas was formed in 2016 and is the first American constructor to compete since the unrelated Haas Lola outfit in 1986.
In 2021, they finished with 0 points and 10th in the Constructors’ Championship.
Son of Michael Schumacher, Mick will race his second season in F1 this year. He won the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2020 as well as the F3 Championship in 2018. He is part of the Ferrari programme and Binotti says he hopes to have the German driver with them maybe as early as 2023.
A last minute replacement for Nikita Mazepin, Magnussen rejoins Haas after being dropped in 2021.
Magnussen has previously raced with McLaren and Renault before he joined Haas in 2017. His one and only podium in F1 came in 2014 with McLaren at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.
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